Conyers, Georgia-based Hillphoenix, a leading U.S. provider of transcritical CO2 systems to supermarkets, has entered the convenience store market with its first CO2 (R744) installation at a convenience store.
The store is using Hillphoenix’s AdvansorFlex-Mini transcritical CO2 refrigeration system, said Derek Gosselin, Director Technical Product Specialist Group for Hillphoenix, who provided an overview of the company’s latest product innovations and installations to R744.com
The system has also been installed by a small-format food retailer in one store as a pilot project to look at CO2 as a long-term option
Hillphoenix is the platinum sponsor of the ATMOsphere (ATMO) America Summit 2022 on natural refrigerants, taking place June 7-8 in Alexandria, Virginia. The OEM has installed more than 875 transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems in North America noted Gosselin.
Introduced to the market last year, AdvansorFlex-Mini is designed for small-capacity stores; it can also be utilized in supermarkets for incremental capacity. The Mini is a smaller version of the AdvansorFlex system, which was also designed to accommodate smaller stores. Unveiled in 2016, the AdvansorFlex was a follow-up to Hillphoenix’s flagship Advansor CO2 booster rack system, introduced in 2011 when Hillphoenix acquired the Danish OEM Advansor.
“Both the AdvansorFlex and the AdvansorFlex-mini are predesigned and pre-engineered with flexible capacity to fill small-to-medium loads for a central or distributed CO2 design,” said Gosselin. He sees larger convenience stores that have committed to more foodservice offerings as candidates for the AdvansorFlex-Mini or the AdvansorFlex.
The original Advansor system is “engineered to order” for a wide range of capacities covering mid-sized stores to industrial applications. He added that Hillphoenix is “gaining good traction [with CO2 systems] in the industrial market with 50+ projects in the North American market and 160+ globally,” currently including installations at three major U.S. distribution centers.
Many of Hillphoenix’s transcritical CO2 installations, particularly in warmer climates, use adiabatic gas coolers to reduce energy consumption; the company recommends using an adiabatic condenser when average temperatures exceed 100°F (38°C), Gosselin said. Some also use parallel compression and/or ejectors to improve energy performance. Next year, Hillphoenix will introduce the AdvansorFlex 2.0, which will include parallel compression and ejectors as a standard option.
Hillphoenix continues to explore all types of developing technologies that can be used to improve the operational efficiency of a CO2 booster systems like pressure exchangers and advancements in heat reclaim and HVAC design.
First CO2 condensing unit
Hillphoenix introduced, in February, its first transcritical CO2 condensing unit, dubbed the CO2One single-condensing unit. It is designed for small cabinet loads, small-format stores, walk-in cooler/freezers, and phased remodels as well as stores that use a distributed refrigeration architecture.
According to Gosselin, the first CO2One condensing units will be installed in the walk-in cooler of a convenience store and the walk-in cooler of a brewery.
The CO2One system is one of the first CO2 condensing units in North America designed for use throughout a food retail store. Previously, commercial CO2 condensing units in North America have been aimed at cold rooms (coolers and freezers) in stores, but not display cabinets, which have been served by CO2 rack systems.
Most convenience stores use one or two condensing units for low-temperature cabinets, and one or two for walk-in cold rooms, along with self-contained air-cooled merchandisers using propane (R290) refrigerant (which Hillphoenix also offers).
Hillphoenix’s wide range of transcritical CO2 systems reflects its philosophy that end users need “the flexibility of multiple products based on capacity to pinpoint the right product for the right application,” said Gosselin.
“Both the AdvansorFlex and the AdvansorFlex-mini are predesigned and pre-engineered with flexible capacity to fill small-to-medium loads for a central or distributed CO2 design.”Derek Gosselin, Hillphoenix